If A Guy Who Ghosted Texts You Again, Here’s How To Handle It

Ghosting is the worst. Whether you’re the person getting ghosted or the person who’s actually doing the ghosting, ending a relationship by abruptly cutting off all communication is never a good thing. But what if that relationship doesn’t really end when they leave your last message on read? In some situations, you may find that someone who ghosted you texts you again and wants to try to come back into your life.

If you find yourself in this situation, your initial reaction to seeing that gray text bubble might be to just ignore the message and move on with your life. If that’s how you feel, that’s completely fine to do — you shouldn’t feel like you owe that person anything. But it’s not always that easy. If you get a surprise text from someone who ghosted you and you’re still interested in exploring a potential relationship with them, it’s OK to give the text consideration. That is if you think it deserves it. Being ghosted may feel awful, but it’s completely up to you whether to give someone who ghosted you another chance.

So, here’s how to best handle it when someone who ghosted you shows up again in your texts.

1. Take Time To Read The Message

Young woman looking at phone at a text from someone who ghosted her

Shutterstock

Before you do anything, read the message carefully. Then, read it again. Marriage therapist Nicole Richardson says she’s seen people who don’t even read the text from someone who ghosted them and get the wrong idea. This means they “read more into it than is actually there,” says Richardson. The person who ghosted you may just be bored or need something from you, and you might misinterpret that and be back to planning your wedding.

Stef Safran, a Chicago-based matchmaker, agrees and says it’s important to really take your time assessing that first communication. “See how they start communicating with you,” Safran says. “If it’s just a quick text to say ‘Hi,’ allow them to make more of an effort.”

When you receive a text from someone who previously ghosted you, give it all the time you need to make sure you’re reading it correctly and that they’re making an appropriate amount of effort. They’ve ghosted you once already, so they aren’t starting with a baseline level of your trust — they need to earn it.

2. Think About How You Feel

Once you’ve had a moment to digest the initial text, the next thing to do is to take a minute (or several) to figure out how you really feel. If the text contains an apology, that’s great, says Richards. But it’s not likely, and you might feel that a casual text saying “Hey” isn’t enough reason to give them another shot.

Safran says to think about it as a friendship: If a friend ghosted you and then reappeared out of thin air, you’d expect something bigger than just a “Hi” or “Hello.” So you should use the time between getting the text and responding to weigh out your own feelings. “Maybe this wasn’t someone you were that into, so it’s not a big deal,” Safran says. “If this is someone you don’t mind hanging out [with] here or there, then maybe you won’t be that upset if [they] disappear again.”

3. Make Sure They Acknowledge Their Actions

Woman reading text from person who ghosted her

Kilito Chan/Moment/Getty Images

If you’ve decided to communicate with the person who ghosted you, you should also hold them accountable for their behavior. “Ask why [they] ghosted you,” says Anita A. Chlipala, licensed marriage, and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Love. “There’s a high probability [they’re] going to do it again unless [they] can demonstrate change.” According to Chlipala, if they claim they ghosted you to save your feelings, then they need to understand that ghosting might have been really painful for you. Now that they’re back in your life, they need to be clear about communicating better in the future.

April Masini, a New York-based relationship expert, also says that figuring out why they ghosted is important — it may not always be the worst-case scenario. “If [someone] ghosts you because this is [their] normal behavior, move on. It’s cowardly and rude. But… if [they] ghosted you because there was a miscommunication and [they] did contact you but the email or text didn’t go through, or it’s in your spam folder, give [them] another chance.”

“The reason for the behavior is often just as important as the behavior itself, so if [they] come back and you’re still interested, get a little intel,” she continues. Either way, if they did actually ghost you, make sure they understand how it made you feel.

4. Consider If It’s Worth The Risk Of Being Ghosted Again

Even if you’re back to texting (or maybe you’ve graduated to hanging out again), there are still some big questions hanging over a potential relationship with this person, like: Will, they ghost you again? Is starting something up again worth the risk?

Chlipala says it’s probably not. “Ask yourself if you really want someone in your life who chooses to ghost rather than clearly communicate about what’s going on. It won’t get any better just because you’re dating or in a relationship. If you’ve been ghosted, the person did you a favor by getting out of your life, so don’t let [them] back in,” she says.

If the person is someone you know wasn’t going to be great for you long-term, it may not be a good idea to waste any more time on a relationship with them.

5. Tread Carefully If You Decide To Move Forward

If you decide you want to try a new relationship with this person again, be very, very careful with how you move forward. Chlipala says, “Set your expectations really, really low. Don’t get your hopes up that [they’re] into you or want to date you. [They] could be bored, know you’re available, and just want to have some temporary fun.” And if you do give it a go, Chlipala says, don’t stop dating other people. It’ll help you maintain some distance, so long as you’re both on the same page about not exclusively dating each other.

Richardson says it’s not a bad idea to keep your guard up. “Be aware that [they’re] still likely to let you down. [They’ve] shown you already that [they’re] capable of leaving you hanging, so do not assume [they’re] sorry and/or that [they] will not do it again.”

Even if everything seems to be going well, Masini says to hold back just a bit. “Don’t spill your heart, sleep with [them] again, or bring [them] to your sister’s wedding … You want to behave according to what you know, and if this is someone who’s hurt your feelings in the past, be smart this time around.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

What Does ‘Submarining’ Mean?

Ever since digital technology came along to enhance and further complicate our lives, modern romance has seen an influx of new dating terms and behaviors. The most famous of these is, of course, ghosting: when the person you’ve been seeing cuts off contact without warning. Other variations of this include love-bombing, when somebody inundates you with messages and attention, then goes AWOL , and fizzing, where the communication simply peters out, often mutually.

And then there’s submarining.

Also known as “zombie-ing,” submarining is a form of ghosting where a person drops off the grid, only to then get back in touch months later—perhaps just as you were finally getting over being ghosted in the first place. It’s pretty poor dating form, and it’s likely that more than a few people have experienced a submarine while in lockdown.

“People may choose to resurface for a lot of reasons, but more often than not, it’s out of insecurity or boredom,” says Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and author of All the F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life. “Maybe they just stopped seeing someone, maybe they’re sick of being trapped indoors, or maybe they just need some validation and are hoping to get it from you. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty unlikely that it’s because this person actually cares about you. It’s more likely that they want someone to talk to and make them feel good about themselves.”

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Submarining is no better than traditional ghosting, because it involves the same apparent lack of awareness or concern for other people’s feelings. The internet disinhibition effect theorizes that the anonymous nature of instant messaging means we sometimes forget there is a real person on the other end of the screen, leading to us neglecting to extend the same empathy or consideration that we might in a real-world interaction.

Not that this is an excuse.

“If someone is actually into you, they don’t disappear out of nowhere,” says Engle. “If someone did just get ‘scared’ or whatever and disappeared, that’s a red flag in itself. Someone who doesn’t have enough emotional intelligence to at least send a polite text that they aren’t interested in moving forward is probably not someone you want to get serious about.”

As for what to do when someone reappears unexpectedly, that’s your call. Maybe they have an explanation for why they dropped off your radar completely for so long. But if you do decide that they’re worth a second chance, don’t forget that you’ve already witnessed them pull off that disappearing act once before.

“You can respond however you see fit. If you really want to give this person another chance, that’s up to you,” says Engle. “Just be aware that this is likely not going to end well for you. I would advise not getting involved again, as it’s likely to wind up ending in disappointment again. If you’re feeling gutsy, you can reply to their submarine text and tell them that this is a lame thing to do and if they wanted to chat with you, they shouldn’t have been so rude to you.”

Breaking things off with somebody is never easy, but having that conversation is an important step in giving both parties closure. And if the thought of composing a “we need to talk” message brings you out in hives, you can always use a chatbot simulator to practice.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

What Does ‘Cushioning’ Mean, When It Comes to Dating?

You might be guilty of it.

“Cushioning” is yet another disheartening dating trend in the era of online dating. But unlike ghostinglove bombing, and submarining, which are are clearly unethical, cushioning can sometimes skirt the line of acceptable dating etiquette.

According to the most popular entry on Urban Dictionary—the go-to “dictionary” for all slang—cushioning is “a dating technique where along with your main piece you also have several ‘cushions’, other people you’ll chat and flirt with to cushion the potential blow of your main break-up and not leave you alone.”

Multiple outlets, such as InStyle, have noted that cushioning often occurs when a relationship is first blossoming before anything is “official.” That’s why I wouldn’t consider cushioning unethical, exactly, because you haven’t had “the talk” yet (i.e., “Are we monogamous and no longer going to see/text/flirt with other people?”).

Cushioning can potentially be a good thing if you’re not sure where you stand in a relationship, explains Gigi Engle, resident Womanizer sexologist and author ofAll The F*cking Mistakes: a guide to sex, love, and life. While you’re dating around, it can be beneficial to have a few people you’re talking to or seeing at one time. “This will help you keep feelings in check and figure out what it is you actually want in a relationship,” Engle says. “You’re acting within ethical lanes as long as you haven’t defined the relationship.” That said, if someone wants to get serious, and you agree but are still talking to other people, you’re crossing into hazy and unethical territory.

Men’s Health Magazine

People cushion for various reasons, so it’s tough to pinpoint exactly one reason why a person may choose to have “backburners,” especially if they really like their “main piece.” Nevertheless, Engle’s inclination is that if you’re in a serious relationship and are using human “cushions” to protect yourself, you likely don’t feel comfortable being totally vulnerable in your relationship. “You’re using the validation of others to make up for your lack of self-confidence or your confidence in the relationship,” she says. It also indicates that you’re not attuned at asking for what you want, specifically, more attention and security in your relationship. Whatever your reason for cushioning, Engle deems in a breach of trust if you’re cushioning while in a committed relationship.

Not to mention that when you cushion, you’re leading on the other people you’re using as cushions. They don’t know that you’re currently in some sort of situationship with someone else and are currently using them as a backup just in case things go south.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, on their website.

If you find yourself cushioning, Engle recommends sussing out exactly why you’re engaging in this behavior. Is it because you’ve been cheated on in the past and have trust issues? Do you think your partner is going to leave you? Are you insecure and seeking external validation? Are you afraid of really liking and committing to a single person and then getting hurt? Perhaps you really don’t like this person all that much, but just like the stability (or sex)?

Once you have a better understanding of why you’re cushioning, you then know what your next steps are, explains Engle. If you’re afraid of vulnerability, then you need to talk to your partner about it and perhaps see a therapist. If you don’t think you’re getting your needs met by this one person, let them know how they can better support you. If you simply like having someone around, then do your partner a favor and break up with them.

The thing is, when you cushion, you’re not giving the primary relationship a real chance. “It’s like you already have one foot out the door,” says Engle.

So if you like your partner and see the potential for something more serious, then cut this cushioning nonsense out. You can always go back to texting and flirting with multiple people if things don’t work out long-term. However, if you’re going to attempt to be in a committed relationship, then actually attempt to be in a committed relationship.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

‘Stashing’ Is the Latest Dating Trend That’s Honestly Worse Than Ghosting

It’s been four months since you started dating Jim. You’ve gone hiking, binged the entire second season of Fleabag together and eaten at his favorite pizzeria so many times you feel like the staff knows you’re together. But you haven’t met any of his actual friends—let alone any family. Wait, you did run into his college buddy on the street, though! And they chatted for a bit…but now that you think about it, he glazed right over an introduction, didn’t he? And when you posted a pic of you two, he asked you to delete it. Welp, take a seat. We’re sorry to say it, but it sounds like this Jim character is stashing you.

Hold up. What is “stashing” exactly?

Stashing is when one person in a relationship makes the conscious decision to hide the other person from his or her inner circle, and yes, that includes both in real life and on social media. (Deep breaths.) Of course, this is so much more a reflection of the stasher than the stashee, but c’mon, it’s downright rude and hurtful as hell.

Great, the person I’m seeing is stashing me. Why is this happening?

There’s no one reason why stashing happens, but we spoke with marriage and couples therapist Irina Firstein about it. She told us the stasher may be stashing you because they 1) are embarrassed by or have issues with their family, 2) don’t see a serious future with you or 3) are carrying on another relationship simultaneously. None—we repeat, none—of these reasons (or any others) are good enough to justify making you feel like dirt, but having a little bit of insight might take the edge off.

How do I bring up stashing to the person I’m seeing?

“Ask them why you haven’t met anyone important in their life,” Firstein says, “and follow up with questions if they give you the runaround.” (Psst: “There hasn’t been a convenient time” can be filed under “runaround.”) The conversation might bring you closer together over some shared vulnerabilities—maybe the so-called stasher is not on speaking terms with certain family or friends after a falling-out—but there’s also the potential for the opposite to happen.

What if I’m met with backlash?

If this person is doing something hurtful to you and they respond in any way that’s not supportive, understanding, or at least curious, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship, because let’s be honest, that wasn’t that tough of a question. Sidestepping your feelings is a major red flag. And, as Firstein sees it, “If they play ignorant, that’s a form of manipulation.” Tough love, people.

Remember that a caring partner will not want you to feel this way, and if they really do have a good reason for keeping you stashed, like a family matter or they just weren’t “there” yet, they’ll be receptive to the conversation and interested in moving forward. If not, then you deserve to be with someone who wants to roof you. (That’s the term we just made up that means “shout from the rooftops that they get to be with you.”)

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

8 Reasons You’ve Been Ghosted

Rejection and breakups are hard enough, but being ghosted can be traumatic. It can leave you with unanswered questions that make it hard to move on. Although ghosting also occurs in friendships, it’s usually associated with dating. More devastating, but less common, is when a spouse disappears after years of marriage. It’s like the sudden death of the person and the marriage. But even the unexplained, unexpected end to a brief, romantic relationship can feel like betrayal and shatter your trust in yourself, in love, and in other people.

It’s a shock to the heart whenever you care about someone who suddenly cuts you off without any explanation. If you insist on one and get a response like, “I just don’t feel it anymore,” it isn’t satisfying. You still want to know “Why?” We are information-seeking animals. Our brain is wired to wander and search for solutions. Once we pose a question, it looks for answers. This is compounded by the fact that we’re also wired to attach and to experience rejection as painful. We try to reconnect — why do babies cry fiercely when they need their mother. Rejection can cause obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, like stalking your ex’s social media, which fuels more pain and more questions.

Ghosting a Romance

In a romantic relationship, breakups are always harder during the early stage, when ghosting usually occurs. You don’t know your partner that well and are still in a blissful haze of idealization. Your hopes for the future may be abruptly and inexplicably dashed. Normally, after a relationship progresses from the romantic “ideal” stage into the “ordeal” phase, couples struggle with ambivalence and conflicts. If that ends the relationship, at least you have an understanding of why it didn’t work and perhaps agree.

If couples can communicate and accommodate each others’ needs and personalities, they get to the “real deal” — a real relationship based on mutual understanding and acceptance. This takes two people compatible and committed to making the relationship work. They must also have enough self-esteem and autonomy to give without feeling unappreciated or robbed and receive without feeling unworthy or smothered.

Date Ghosting

In dating, often there is less accountability, depending upon various factors: The way you met (a chat room or hookup app), the individual’s maturity and values, length of the relationship, and frequency of face-to-face contact. Technology promotes less emotional involvement. If instead, you met through mutual friends, there’s more incentive to be on good behavior or other friends will hear about it.

Ghosting might start with an unanswered text or call, or long silences between replies until there are none. Here are eight reasons why a person might ghost instead of communicating:

  1. They’re chicken: People who don’t handle conflict well fear confrontation. They expect drama and criticism and want to avoid a breakup conversation. They may rationalize to themselves that they’re sparing your feelings by not admitting that they no longer want to continue the relationship. However, leaving without a word, let alone closure, is more cruel and painful.
  2. They’re avoidant: Ghosts are more likely to have intimacy problems, which explains why they leave a relationship that’s getting close. They’re emotionally unavailable and may have an avoidant attachment style.
  3. They’re ashamed: People with low self-esteem want to avoid criticism and the shame they’ll experience if you get to know them better — one reason for avoiding intimacy. They also expect to feel shame for hurting you. Their lack of boundaries makes them feel responsible for their feelings, though the reverse is true. They’re responsible for how they communicate, but not for your reaction. If they want to end a relationship, you’re entitled to an honest explanation. Thus, in trying to avoid false responsibility, they err by not taking responsibility for their own behavior, causing you the unnecessary pain they were trying to avoid.
  4. They’re busy: When you’re not exclusive and acknowledge that dating someone else is okay, your partner may assume the relationship is casual. While dating other people, you and/or your messages might have been overlooked or forgotten. Your date may have already moved on or just not made time to respond. When later realizing this, he or she is too embarrassed to reply and rationalizes that your “thing” wasn’t serious in the first place.
  5. They’re game-players: To some daters, particularly narcissists, relationships are solely a means to satisfy their egos and sexual needs. They’re not interested in a commitment or concerned with your feelings, though they may feign that when they’re seducing you. They’re players, and to the relationships are a game. They’re not emotionally involved and can act callously once they’re no longer interested, especially if you express needs or expectations.
  6. They’re depressed or overwhelmed: Some people can hide depression for a while. The ghost might be too depressed to continue and not want to reveal what’s really going on in his or her life. There may be other life events you don’t know about that take precedence, like a job loss or personal or family illness or emergency.
  7. They’re seeking safety: If you’ve raged in the past or are violent or verbally abusive, the ghost may avoid you in self-protection.
  8. They’re setting a boundary: If you’re annoyed and smothered your friend with frequent texts or calls, especially if they’ve asked you not to, then their silence is sending a message because you’ve ignored their boundaries. You likely have an anxious attachment style and are attracted to people with avoidant styles. See “Breaking the Cycle of Abandonment.”

What to Do if You’ve Been Ghosted

The main thing to realize is that in the vast majority of cases, ghosting behavior reflects on the ghost, not you. It’s time to let go. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow.

Face Reality

The other person has decided to move on for whatever reason. Accepting that is more important than knowing why. The ghost is also demonstrating that he or she doesn’t respect your feelings and lacks essential communication and conflict resolution skills that make relationships work. Your feelings aside, consider whether you really want a relationship with them.

Allow Your Feelings

Realize that you can’t figure out the ghost’s motives in your head. Let go of obsessive thoughts, and allow yourself to feel both sadness and anger, without falling into shame. Give yourself time to grieve. Open your heart to yourself with extra doses of self-love — all you wanted from the other person.

Avoid Self-Blame

Deal with the rejection in a healthy way. Rejection can be painful, but you don’t have to pile on unnecessary suffering. Don’t blame yourself or allow someone else’s bad behavior to diminish your self-esteem. Even if the ghost believes you weren’t what he or she was looking for, that doesn’t mean you’re undesirable to someone else. You cannot make a person love you. You simply might not have been a good match. He or she is not your last hope for a partner!

No Contact

If you’re tempted to write or call, think about how the conversation will go, how you will feel, and whether you would get a truthful answer from the person. Oftentimes, the person ending a relationship won’t be honest about the reasons or may not even be able to articulate them, because they’re just going with their gut feelings. Men tend to do this more than women, who analyze and ruminate more. In addition, the odds are you’ll be rejected a second time. Would that hurt more?

To heal faster, experts advise no contact after a breakup, including all social media. Read more tips on how to recover.

If you find it hard to let go of your ex and pursue a conversation, resist any temptation to lure him or her back. You may later regret it. Instead, communicate that his or her was hurtful and unacceptable. In other words, be resolved that you’re now rejecting them. Then, move on.

Beware that if you’re still hurting and vulnerable, contact may prolong your grief. If you don’t feel strong, such a conversation may not help you let go. Also, remember that anger isn’t always strength. It may be a temporary stage of grief, followed by more longing.

Don’t Isolate

Get back into life, and plan activities with friends. You may need a break from dating for a while, but socialize and do other things that you enjoy. Don’t allow yourself to fall into depression, which is distinct from mourning.

I ghosted a friend last year. They just got to a level of crazy with their mental illness I couldn’t take their lies anymore, so I cut them off. I did email them to tell them after so many years of this person’s nonsense I just couldn’t do it anymore. Yea… he needed to go.

My life is better without him in it.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1